"But seeing they could not See; hearing they could not Hear"
“The views expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the National Weather Service or affiliate/related organizations. Please consult .gov sites for official information”

"From its chamber comes the whirlwind, and cold from the scattering winds." - Job 37:9.

"The wind blows to the south and turns to the north; round and round it goes, ever returning on its course".

Thursday, November 18, 2010


See the entire story so far by referring back to previous posts. In promise to Weatherwise, I am not posting the entire tale; therefore, this will be the last post. But in closing (but please read below), Capt. Hall did see the lower lip of the funnel tip the house next door and it instantly disentigrated. He estimated the winds to be 1000 mph (not a typo). Okay, here we go, inside the tornado funnel itself!!


As I gained footing another jarring

wham caught me, and I found myself

on my back over in the fireplace, and

the west wall of the room right down on

top of me. The "whams" were just

that. Instead of being blown inward

with a rending crash of timbers, as one

would expect of a cyclonic wind, the

side of the room came in as if driven by

one mighty blow of a gigantic sledge

hammer. One moment the wall stood.

The next it had been demolished. The

destruction had been so instantaneous

that I retained no memory of its progress.

I was standing, and then I was

down, 10 feet away. What happened

between, I failed to grasp or to sense.

By a quirk of fate I was not seriously

injured, and as soon as I had my senses

about me I clawed up through the

wreckage, and crawled around and

through the hole where the east door

had been. I could tell by the bluishwhite

light that the roof and ceiling of

this room were gone also. I almost ran

over my four-year-old daughter, who

was coming to see about me. Grabbing

her up I was instantly thrown down on

my side by a quick side-shift of the

floor. I placed her face down, and

leaned above her as a protection

against flying debris and falling walls.

I knew the house had been lifted

from its foundation, and feared it was

being carried through air. Sitting, facing

southward, I saw the wall of the

room bulge outward and go down. I

saw it go, and felt the shock, but still

there was no sound. Somehow, I could

not collect my senses enough to crawl

to the small, stout back room, six feet

away, and sat waiting for another of

those pile-driver blasts to sweep the

rest of the house away.

After a moment or so of this, I became

conscious that I was looking at my

neighbor's house, standing unharmed

100 feet to the south. Beyond I could see

'~ .. something had billowed

down from above, and stood

fairly motionless, save for a

slow up-and-down pulsation

.we were . . . inside the

tornado itself!"

others, apparently intact. But above all

this, I sensed a vast relief when I saw

that we were still on the ground. The

house had been jammed back against

trees on the east and south and had

stopped, partly off its foundation.

The period of relief I experienced,

however, was a very short one. Sixty

feet south of our house something had

billowed down from above, and stood

fairly motionless, save a slow up-anddown

pulsation. It presented a curved

face, with the concave part toward me,

with a bottom rim that was almost

level, and was not moving either

toward or away from our house. I was

too dumbfounded for a second, even to

try to fathom its nature, and then it

burst on my rather befuddled brain

with a paralyzing shock. It was the

lower end of the tornado! I was looking

at its inside, and we were, at the moment,

within the tornado itself!

The bottom of the rim was about 20

feet off the ground, and had doubtless

a few moments before destroyed our

house as it passed. The interior of the

funnel was hollow: the rim itself appearing

to be not over 10 feet in

thickness and, owing possibly to the

light within the funnel, appeared perfectly

opaque. Its inside was so slick

and even that it resembled the interior

of a glazed standpipe. The rim had another

motion which I was, for a moment,

too dazzled to grasp. Presently I

did. The whole thing was rotating,

shooting past from right to left with incredible


I lay back on my left elbow, to afford

the baby better protection, and looked

up. It is possible that in that upward

glance my stricken eyes beheld something

few have ever seen before and

lived to tell about. I was looking far up

the interior of a great tornado funnel!

It extended upward for over a thousand

feet, and was swaying gently, and

bending slowly toward the southeast.

Down at the bottom, judging from the

circle in front of me, the funnel was

about 150 yards across. Higher up it

was larger, and seemed to be partly

filled with a bright cloud, which shimmered

like a fluorescent light. This

brilliant cloud was in the middle of the

funnel, not touching the sides, as I

recall having seen the walls extending

on up outside the cloud.

Up there too, where I could observe

both the front and back of the funnel,

the terrific whirling could be plainly

seen. As the upper portion of the huge

pipe swayed over, another phenomenon

took place. It looked as if the

whole column were composed of rings

or layers, and when a higher ring

moved on toward the southeast, the

ring immediately below slipped over to

get back under it. This rippling motion

continued on down toward the lowertip.

If there was any debris in the wall of

the funnel it was whirling so fast I

could not see it. And if there was a

vacuum inside the funnel, as is commonly

believed, I was not aware of it. I

do not recall having any difficulty in

breathing, nor did I see any debris

rushing up under the rim of the tornado,

as there surely would have been

had there been a vacuum.

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